Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Catechism #39

Q. How is the Word of God made effectual for salvation?
A. The Spirit of God makes the reading and the preaching of the Word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners.

Some people like to pose the question, “If a man on a deserted island dies and never hears about Jesus, will he go to hell?”

While that is a most unlikely hypothetical question, I believe that God will do whatever He has to in order to give that man the chance to be saved (2 Peter 3:9, 1 Timothy 2:3-4,). God could send an angel, appear in a vision, or let the beauty of creation lead him to the truth (Psalm 19:1).

But for those of us who are not on a deserted island, God has chosen the manifestation of His Word as the vehicle to bring the lost to salvation. Any person can pick up a Bible and read Romans 10:13: “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

But God’s desire is for salvation to be both personal and relational. That is why God established the pastor to be the human shepherd, lovingly leading the sheep to Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:21 says God has chosen “the foolishness of preaching” to save the world. God doesn’t need any human agent to bring salvation, but that is what He chose to do.

The proclamation of the gospel is not reserved for only the vocational pastor or evangelist, though. The commission to preach the good news is given to every redeemed child of God.

While it is important that our conduct back up our message, this so-called lifestyle evangelism only goes so far. We should not let hypocrisy and sin in our lives be an obstacle that prevents someone from coming to Christ, but we also need to realize that our actions do not save people; only the properly presented message of Jesus does that.

The Word of God is made effectual for salvation whenever a person reads the Bible or hears the Bible preached. Are you helping to spread the Word?

No comments: